holistic feeding cowgirl magazine

More and more horse owners are turning toward holistic alternatives, including their horse’s diet. What you should feed and how often are big questions. It’s best to look at how your horse’s digestive system works and build their diet around that.

A Holistic Approach

Dr. Angelique Barbara shares a short video on some basic guidelines to consider when developing your horse’s diet.

Some points that she makes include:

  • Their digestive system is designed to eat smaller meals more frequently.
  • Ideally, they should be able to graze 24/7.
  • If that’s not possible, offer high-quality hay throughout the day.
  • Hay nets and slow feeders will extend the hay.
  • You should never feed more than 4 pounds of grain in one feeding.
  • It’s more ideal to break the feedings into 3 or more smaller meals.
  • The horse’s diet should be 80% or more forage (hay and grass) and 20% or less grain.
  • Many do fine without grain.
  • Those that need additional calories should be given proteins, carbs, and fats through grain, seeds, and supplements.
  • Make sure your horse is getting enough vitamins and minerals.
  • Always check your horse’s grain before adding a supplement. You don’t want to overdose them!
  • Provide your horse free-choice salt that is naturally sourced.

The more turnout and grazing you can provide the happier your horse will be!